Thursday, January 27

Nick Kyrgios calls for the Australian Open to be canceled due to a mandate to vaccinate “morally wrong” players | australian open


Nick Kyrgios has called for the Australian Open to be canceled in lieu of imposing a “morally wrong” vaccination mandate on players at the 2022 opening grand slam.

Kyrgios used his podcast, Without Borders, to express his opinion that the tournament in Melbourne Park should be canceled after two years of Covid-19 interruption to limit the possibility of a new outbreak.

“I don’t think the Aus Open should go ahead, just for Melbourne people – you have to send a message,” Kyrgios said on the podcast. “How long [Melbourne] to do in the confinement? 275 days or something?

The tournament will continue as planned, starting on January 17, but there is still uncertainty as to whether players who have not been vaccinated or will not disclose their vaccination status will be able to compete.

Government officials have yet to reveal final decisions on a vaccination policy for players (they are likely to show up to Tennis Australia next week) despite Victoria’s Prime Minister Daniel Andrews standing firm on the your state’s position that exemptions will not be granted to the unvaccinated. Athletes

World number one Novak Djokovic, who is aiming to win a fourth straight Australian Open, has declined to reveal whether he has been vaccinated and his appearance at Melbourne Park remains in doubt.

Kyrgios indicated that he supported players who have not received the jab or are unwilling to disclose their vaccination status. The Australian expressed particular sympathy for Djokovic and Melbourne-born basketball star Kyrie Irving, who missed the start of the NBA season due to his refusal to receive the Covid vaccine.

Kyrgios had been an outspoken critic of Djokovic following last year’s ill-fated charity event, the Adria Tour, which ended with the Serb and other high-profile players testing positive for Covid-19.

“Kyrie, Novak… These guys have given so much, they have sacrificed so much. They are global athletes that millions of people look up to, ”said Kyrgios. “I think it is so morally wrong to force someone to get vaccinated.

“I am twice vaccinated, but I do not think it is correct to force anyone [to be vaccinated] and say ‘you cannot come to play here because you are not vaccinated’.

“There are other solutions around you, [such as] get tested every day. In America, I know they have rapid tests and it will come to Australia. It’s an 85% success rate, you wait 15 minutes, you get a negative test, and then you can play. “

Victoria Sports Minister Martin Pakula rejected Kyrgios’ call to cancel the tournament, saying he found the player’s comments confusing.

“I really like Nick Kyrgios and I encourage him every time he plays and I certainly don’t want to get in trouble with Nick Kyrgios, but I really couldn’t follow the logic of his comments,” Pakula said.

“We have had a prolonged lockout, so shouldn’t the Australian Open continue? I’m not sure I follow that. I think the opposite applies. Melburnians, Victorians, and frankly all Australians are absolutely looking forward to big events.

“Our economy needs it, our state psyche needs it. It’s a global grand slam, he’s going to move on. “


www.theguardian.com

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